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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Tyer Advocates For Adoption of Community Preservation Act
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:37AM / Thursday, November 03, 2016

Parks Commissioner Joe Durwin says the money will go toward historic preservation, parks and open space, and affordable housing projects which often don't receive the funding needed from local budgets. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer says the Community Preservation Act will "get Pittsfield ready for good things to happen."   The mayor joined more than a dozen supporters of the local ballot question calling for the adoption of the program, which they say will help bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pittsfield to help with an array of projects. The act calls for a surcharge on the tax bills of 1 percent, with the first $100,000 value being

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Young BArT Harriers Excel at League Championships
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
08:00PM / Wednesday, November 02, 2016
ADAMS, Mass. -- In its first year hosting the River Valley Athletic League cross country championships, the teams from BArT Charter were hospitable.   The course at the Greylock Glen? Slightly less so.   “We definitely have the hardest 5K course in the county, I think,” Berkshire Arts and Technology coach Bennjamin Griffin said on Wednesday afternoon. “There’s 550 feet of elevation gain, and there are four significant climbs on it. I think some of the kids come in a little underprepared if they’re from other schools.”   That cannot be said of individual champions Mac Sloan-Anderson of Greenfield’s Four Rivers and Delaney Bullock of

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Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Autumn Leaves Prelude to White Winter
03:08PM / Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Driving around Northern Berkshire County this gorgeous October treats both residents and visitors alike to stunning, vibrant, oranges, reds and golds of the autumn leaves. Leaf peepers drive to the Berkshires from all over to take in the breathless beauty of the trees atop Mount Greylock, Jiminy Peak, the Taconic Mountains and more.

In the midst of this beautiful time of the year, many are already lamenting the coming of winter. Rather than revel in the current beauty and enjoyment of the moment, folks are saying, "sure, it’s nice now, but you know what’s next,” and other statements expressing a similar sentiment. Generally speaking, it's good to enjoy the

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Letter: Pittsfield Giving Away Money to Wealthy Mass Cities
Letters to the Editor,
02:00PM / Wednesday, November 02, 2016

To the Editor:

Since Lisa Whitney, a Pittsfield native, and I decided to save the historical Thomas Colt House and convert it into a vibrant Whitney Center for the Arts, a non-profit, established for the purpose of giving back to the community, we have since made the city of Pittsfield our home.

I have been hearing from a lot of Pittsfield residents about things that are wrong in Pittsfield. Surely, no city is perfect, but we have our golden opportunity to correct at least one of the "wrongs" simply by voting yes on Question 5 on Nov. 8 to adopt the Community Preservation Act.

I can just imagine a furiously passionate reaction from any lifelong Pittsfield resident if I tell

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Letter: Vote Yes on Pittsfield's Question 5
Letters to the Editor,
01:35PM / Wednesday, November 02, 2016

To the Editor:

I'm a local real estate broker/owner of Gile Real Estate. As a broker, I see the money that we've given to other [Community Preservation Act] communities for the past 16 years in real estate document recording fees ($170 every time a property is purchased.)

Only the communities that have adopted CPA can access this state-matched fund that they're already paying into. In 2015, we estimate that 1,702 properties were sold in Pittsfield. At $170 each in document recording fees, that comes to $289,340 that was given away. And that is only properties that sold through the Berkshire Board of Realtors.

Based on last year's data, if we already had CPA, the local

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Letter: Check Hinds on Tuesday
Letters to the Editor,
01:00PM / Wednesday, November 02, 2016

To the Editor:

As we look out to next Tuesday, there is a wide breadth of questions and various positions both national and local that every eligible voter has the right and responsibility to vote on. No matter what side you take on any of these decisions, they will not only affect our lives, but the lives of future generations in the commonwealth, our nation, and our world.

If I can make a statement on one of those votes, I would urge you to support Adam Hinds for state Senate. Adam has proven his ability to listen and work with the community and has an incredible capacity for working with colleagues at both the state and national level. The support he has received for his candidacy

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Don't Overlook Long-term Care Costs
12:34PM / Wednesday, November 02, 2016

How much money will you need in retirement? To arrive at an estimate, you should consider various factors, such as where you'll live, how much you plan to travel, and so on. Not surprisingly, you'll also need to think about health care costs, which almost always rise during retirement. But there's one area you might overlook: long-term care. Should you be concerned about these costs?

In a word, yes. Expenses for long-term care – which can include receiving assistance at home as well as prolonged care in a facility – can be surprisingly expensive. Consider the following statistics, taken from the 2016 Cost of Care Study issued by Genworth, an insurance company:

The

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Secretary Jay Ash Presents Award To Apex, Discusses Manufacturing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:10AM / Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Secretary Jay Ash, Apex COO Donald Rochelo, and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier discuss the future of manufacturing on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Apex Resource Technologies, an injection molding company who found a particular niche in the medical device manufacturing business, is just one example of the manufacturing that Massachusetts stills has, and wants to grow.   Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash joined state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier on Tuesday to highlight the company's efforts with the presentation of the first annual Massachusetts Manufacturing Caucus Award.   "It is people like you who are investing in our community by growing

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Letter: Time for Pittsfield to Say Yes to CPA
Letters to the Editor,
05:31PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

To the Editor:

I'm writing to urge Pittsfield citizens to vote yes on Question 5. When we are open minded, study the facts, figures and multiple examples of success stories, it is a natural conclusion that Pittsfield would benefit immensely from [Community Preservation Act's] adoption. It is time to say .

Question 5 has been embraced across all sectors of the Pittsfield community, in a groundswell of support from civic organizations, private businesses, and community leaders that support adoption of the Community Preservation Act in Pittsfield, and with good reason: CPA is a clear win for those communities that adopt it, economically and socially. In addition to transforming

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Letter: Support CPA Question
Letters to the Editor,
05:13PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

To the Editor:

The Community Preservation Act would support everything I love about living in Pittsfield: its proud and fascinating heritage, picturesque historic architecture, creative economy, and the natural beauty of its outdoor spaces.

In my work as director of visitor interpretation at The Trustees [of Reservations], I have experienced first-hand the benefits of CPA funding across the state, from restoring historic interiors at the Old Manse in Concord to creating new trails for our beloved Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, all for the enjoyment of the public.

Best of all, the funding decisions are all made right here in our community. As president of the Berkshire Art

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Letter: Question 2 Contrary to the Commonwealth
Letters to the Editor,
05:00PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

To the Editor:

Charter schools are an expensive proposition in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with no oversight from our locally elected officials.  This year over $400 million will be diverted from local school districts to fund these privately managed schools.

The broad coalition that has organized against this misguided ballot initiative speaks to its significance.  Why would over 135 organizations including the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association, the NAACP, and both major teachers unions (MTA and AFT) be against the proposal?  Why have over 200 schools committees, 23 town boards and city councils, and 31 mayors said No On 2?  It’s the simple

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MCLA to Host 2nd Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference
03:21PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The second annual Berkshire Natural History Conference will feature presentations by local and regional naturalists as well as acclaimed authors on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center.

"This annual event will bring natural history home to the Berkshires," said Tom Tyning, a professor of environmental science at Berkshire Community College and a lead organizer of the event. "We are really excited to gather programs and like-minded people together to help understand and appreciate the deep natural heritage that surrounds us all in the Berkshires."

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is

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